Note: This is a more comprehensive version of the story that appeared in Saturday’s edition.
ATLANTIC CITY — The hosts Atlantic City Beach Patrol got off to a good start, winning their first two races and claiming the team title at Friday night’s Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic.
Other patrols performed well, but Atlantic City never lost the lead.
AC scored 22 points and took three wins to clinch their second consecutive Classic Team Championship. Longport he won two and on 17 points he was second. Brigantine finished in the top five in each race with 14 points he finished third. Ventner was 13 and he was fourth. Ocean City won one, with nine points placing him fifth and Margate sixth with seven. The top five scores were 5-4-3-2-1.
Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey said: “We won the first two races and we did well in the others. That’s what it takes to win. It was a great performance by our team.”
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AC’s Dan Brown, Grace Gallagher, Joe Degaetano, Kelly Poltlak and Sean Barnes won the first race, Surf Dash, in 4:05.
“I liked that the sea was flat and there was more diving with the dolphins than swimming in the race,” said 17-year-old Anchor Burns, an up-and-comer at Holy Spirit High School. “They led me. That’s how we started with a win.”
Host Patrol Joe Russell and Taylor Dirks won the Doubles Surfboat Rescue in 3:56.
“It was exciting,” said Russell, an up-and-coming 20-year-old from Rowan University. “I thought I could win with more gear,” he said.
Longport’s Mike McGrath and Sean Duffy won the only long race, the Mile Double Throw, at 12:20.
“We had a pretty good course and were leading at the middle flag,” said 36-year-old McGrath.
McGrath gave Longport another victory at the end of the night with a close win in the single sprint row with 3:19.
The Ocean City team of swimmers Gerald Trainor and Dylan DeWitt and paddlers Brian Pasternak and Andrew Shaw captured the swim paddle relay.
“We had the lead when Dylan (second OC swimmer) came out. We (all Paddler 0 had to do was hold it).” Pasternak, 38, said. It was more fun for us. “
Atlantic City maintained its lead with the crew of Sean Blair and Morgan Simpson and the sibling team of Vince and Giuliana Granese winning the AC’s Surfboat Relay.
Juliana Granese, 31, former rower at Absegami High School and LaSalle University, said: “We were close to tying with Margate, but then pulled away a bit.”
2021 ClassicAtlantic City won its own event in 2021 with 24 points in the first year of the new racing format. Previously, AC Classic had no relays, now he has three. Until last year, the Classic didn’t have a women’s-specific lineup.
Longport won team titles in 2018 and 2019. This event will not take place in he 2020 due to the pandemic.
Note: The Atlantic City Lifeguard Classic was launched in 1991 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol. It started as a medium-sized event with a few teams on South Carolina Avenue Beach. A few years later it was opened to all South Jersey patrols and moved to the beach on Albany Avenue.
Team Score: 1. Atlantic City 22; 2. Longport 17; 3. Brigantine 14; 4. Ventner 13;
Surf Dash: 1. Atlantic City (Dan Brown, Grace Gallagher, Joe DeGaetano, Kelly Portrac, Sean Burns) 4:05; 2. Ventner 4:13; 3. Longport 4:21; 4. Ocean City 4:23; 5. Brigantine 4:24.
Doubles Surfboat Rescue: 1. Atlantic City (Joe Russell-Taylor Darks) 3:56; 2. Ocean City 4:14; 3. Brigantine 4:15. 4. Bentner 4:44; 5. Lavalette 4:54.
Mile Double Throw: 1. Longport (Mike McGrath-Sean Duffy) 12:20; 2. Ventner 12:35; 3. Atlantic City 12:41; 4. Margate 12:43. 5. Brigantine 12:50.
Swim paddle relay: 1. Ocean City (Gerald Trainor, Dylan DeWitt, Brian Pasternak, Andrew Shaw) 9:28; 2. Brigantine 9:34. 3. Harvey Cedars 9:39; 4. Lavalette 9:41. 5. Margate 10:03.
Surfboat relay: 1. Atlantic City (Sean Blair-Morgan Simpson, Vince Granese-Juliana Granese) 6:58; 2. Longport 7:13; 3. Bentner 7:16. 4. Brigantine 7:20. 5. Margate 7:24.
Singles Sprint Row: 1. Longport (Mike McGrath) 3:19; 2. Atlantic City (Vince Granese) 3:21; 3. Margate 3:23. 4. Brigantine 3:37. 5. Ocean City 3:41.
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